Luoluopo, Central in China

Joshua Project has identified the Luoluopo, Central only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The name Luoluopo means "tigerdragon people" in the Luoluopo language. It is not the same name as Lolo, which was used by the Chinese in a derogatory manner to describe all Yi people until recently. The Central Luoluopo are one of more than 100 subgroups of Yi in Yunnan.

The Central Luoluopo speak a language belonging to the Central Yi language group, which in 1987 contained a total of 470,000 speakers. The Yi script is not used by the Central Luoluopo.


The Central Luoluopo have been in their present location for many centuries. Over time the best land on the plains was taken by the Han. The Central Luoluopo were forced to migrate into the isolated mountains.


The Central Luoluopo celebrate numerous festivals over the course of the year, most of which have religious significance. In January they observe the two-day Dragon Worship Festival. Sacrifices are made to the dragons of the water to ensure a good harvest and to prevent drought and famine. In Dayao County, the Central Luoluopo celebrate the Open Street Festival every February. It affords the chance for Luoluopo from different locations to meet and trade. Luoluopo youth dress in their finest clothes and take the opportunity to meet prospective partners. The social activities of the week include a unique traditional dance in which participants may only dance on their left foot. At all Central Luoluopo festivals a huge feast is prepared. Luoluopo men and women have the habit of smoking long pipes. Central Luoluopo youth are expected to be sexually active before marriage. All villages have a "flower house" where young people are allowed to come together after dark. Fidelity in marriage is stressed only after the first baby is born.


The Central Luoluopo celebrate the Tiger Festival between the eighth and the 15th days of the first lunar month. The Luoluopo believe they are descended from tigers. The hero of the festival is the tiger, a person in costume who, after dancing on the open ground, rides a Mountain god float to call on each home in the community and offer them a blessing.


French Catholic missionary Alfred Lietard and his team worked among the Central Luoluopo in the early part of the twentieth century. They wrote a detailed account of the group in 1913. The missionaries also translated the text of the "Prodigal Son" into Central Luoluopo, although this is no longer available. Today there are a small number of Central Luoluopo Christians attending churches in the townships, but the majority of Luoluopo have never heard the gospel. Central Luoluopo gospel recordings were produced in 1998.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Luoluopo, Central (Luoh-luoh-po)
People Name in Country Luoluopo, Central
Population in China 449,000
World Population 449,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Black Yi, Hei Yi, Lolo, Luoluopo, Yi, Central
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Luoluopo, Central (Luoh-luoh-po)
Ethnic Code MSY50z
People ID 18567
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country More than 350,000 Central Luoluopo live in the central and north central parts of Yunnan Province. The great majority are located in Chuxiong Prefecture. In a 1957 study, Chuxiong reportedly contained 140,000 Luoluopo..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Lolopo (449,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lolopo 449,000
For Primary Language: Lolopo

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.06 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
90.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
9.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
85.0 %
Photo Source: Paul Noll  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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